I, as many others, could not wear jeans as a child and even into most of my teen years. The styles that were “in” were always skinny and low rise, until high school when high-rise jeans became popular. All of these styles felt restrictive and uncomfortable and I constantly wondered why anyone would make jeans that way.
My day of reckoning finally came once I discovered the Art Hoe movement which combined vintage 80s and 90s fashion with an artsy, Van Gogh-inspired style. The mom jeans popularized by it were my salvation from low-rise skinny jeans, and I will forever hold a place in my heart for them. However, somehow, I’ve done a full 180, as the Dua Lipa song goes: I’m actively seeking low-rise pants.
The style of jeans has recently come into the public eye once again, as many Gen-Z fashionistas are adding them to their Paris Hilton-inspired wardrobes. With this rise in the low-rise, however, there’s been a sizable amount of criticism — and for good reason.
With low-rise jeans came a heavy emphasis on thinness because only thin people can wear them comfortably. My friend Claude put it simply in a text conversation with me: “Yes, I think any body should wear whatever they want, (but) it literally is hard as (expletive) to wear them when you’re plus size.” In our text conversation, they noted the “muffin top” insult as an example of how the low-rise trend hurt plus-sized people, especially women. Additionally, they stated how they would have to pull up the jeans constantly.